Based on the Chinese art of ‘flowering tea’, meat flowers are sold as small, tightly wrapped bundles of in vitro meat. Only when placed in hot liquid do the round bundles magically unfurl into elaborate flowers, complete with delicate leaves and petals. Intricate designs such as chrysanthemums or liliescan take skilled meat artisans up to 15 minutes to assemble and sew.
So their intricate artistry can be admired from all angles, these flowers are best used in clear soup stock and served in glass containers. In the following recipe, a meat flower ‘blooms’ in a Vietnamese broth garnished with a garden of fragrant Asian herbs.